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Learning centre an important addition to the community

Carol Hyslop, secretary and a director of the Wentworth Learning Centre, volunteers many hours of work helping the Learning Centre be a vital organization in the Wentworth community.
Carol Hyslop, secretary and a director of the Wentworth Learning Centre, volunteers many hours of work helping the Learning Centre be a vital organization in the Wentworth community.

WENTWORTH, N.S. - An important new organization in Wentworth is the Learning Centre, once the Wentworth Consolidated Elementary School for Grades Primary up to and including Grade 6..

Unfortunately, the Wentworth Elementary School was closed on July 31, 2015 in a dictatorial (supposedly democratic) way by the Chignecto Central Regional School Board which is set up to have the last word (not the government in power as it should be).

Unfortunately, the Wentworth Elementary School was closed on July 31, 2015 in a dictatorial (supposedly democratic) way by the Chignecto Central Regional School Board which is set up to have the last word (not the government in power as it should be).

It is a method which affects a rural community in an educational, cultural and economic downgrading as new families with young children often will not move into a community with no local elementary school and other families will move out as some have already done in Wentworth in order to be near a school. There are also health and education issues issue regarding sending young students in grades Primary to Three (ages 5/6 up to and including ages 8/9) out of their community by bus to a distant school . The daily long bus trips may not affect Grades Five or Six so severely.

After the closure of the Elementary School, the Wentworth community reacted by going through the process of owning the building (and property beside it) in order to help mitigate the loss by creating a Learning Centre Cooperative which met in November, 2015. The executive for the organization board was elected on February 22, 2016. One of the important objectives is to establish a school for grades Primary to Three, independent of a school board. To do this takes time and will be part of the focus. At this time in 2017, the Learning Centre Cooperative is establishing inter-generational programs for social, cultural, educational and economic reasons (fund-raising).

The Learning Centre now houses its office, a CAPsite, community library, two large meeting rooms for programs, and rents an office to Barbara Palmer, the present Cumberland County Councillor for District 6.

According to the mandate of the Learning Centre, it is governed by an incorporated, not-for-profit, cooperative funded by members of the Wentworth community. Nine volunteer directors and 95 members are responsible for cooperative operations. Current efforts focus on raising funds for programming and maintenance of the Learning Centre.

On-going programs contain the following:

#1. Maggie's Place-Pop Up: Tuesdays at 9 am. It is a weekly two-hour outreach pre-school playgroup for parents/caretakers and their children aged up to six years. No registration is required. Free of charge.

#2. Historical Flashbacks: Tea and Talk, Tuesdays at 1 pm in the community library.  Discuss Wentworth history rummaging through boxes of old photographs (yours and others). Transportation provided: need a ride to and from the library? Call 902-548-2076 and we will pick you up.

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